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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Update in Photos

We've had several cute photo opps lately, so I thought I'd just do a quick posting of the pictures with brief explanations as a window into our recent lives....
This past week, I busted out Bryn's old play mat for Shay. Shay loves it and is already a pro at grasping the animals, which Bryn didn't do until much later. Bryn loves it too and keeps trying to crawl in there with Shay. She is also a big fan of turning the music on and off for her baby sister and showing her how all the different parts work.

This past weekend, Ben's parents came to visit. While Nana got cuddle time with baby Shay, Ben's dad, Ben, and our friend Ryan retreated to the basement to build a freaking amazing set of shelves designed by engineer Ryan. Now Ben has a great place to work on all his castings, painting, etc for Higher Ground Games. Plus the boys were even nice enough not to complain when Bryn decided that all she wanted out of life was to sit on the shelves, watch them, and read her Bible.

Last night, I pulled Bryn's hair into a ponytail for the first time. I was shocked to realize that it was long enough to do that! Of course, it's still so baby fine that it's hard to keep back, but she's awfully darn cute like that. This may sound weird, but with her hair in a ponytail, Bryn looks EXACTLY like my sister Kristin looked from the back when she was little. I realize that one could argue that many little ponytailed girls look the same from the back, but the resemblance is so strong, at least to me, that when I was sitting with Bryn in my lap after pulling her hair back, I felt like I had traveled back in time and was sitting with my baby sister instead. Crazy.

Here's Ben giving Her Grace (as we call Miss Shaylee Grace in her more royal moments) one of her many bottles. This kid is eating so much these days that she is rarely seen without a bottle in her mouth. She must have inherited Aunt Jill's metabolism, though, because she remains ridiculously skinny in spite of her constant milk intake. At almost 3 months, Shay is still smaller than my friend Katrina's son was when he was born.... which, interestingly enough, was on the same day as Shay.

While the boys were working in the basement over the weekend, Ben's mom showed us some dresses that she had picked up for Bryn at her friend's resale shop. Bryn liked this particular one so much that she insisted on putting it on immediately over her pajamas. My little tomboy, usually clad in jeans and a t-shirt, instantly transformed into a princess, twirling back and forth in her pink, flowery, silky dress. She was totally adorable.... until I made her take it off so we could go out to lunch for a (belated) birthday celebration for Ben, at which point she turned into a kicking, screaming, thrashing monster, telling me forcefully through her tears, "Want flowers!" Sorry, honey, formal gown over pjs isn't exactly public attire.

Two more quick "conversation" notes on Bryn lately. I mentioned in my last post how she has started to understand that Ben goes to work during the day. Yesterday, he was able to go into work a bit later than usual, so he was still here when she woke up. He went in to see her and she looked at him with a confused expression on her face and immediately asked, "No work?" What a little smartie!

As the language explosion progresses, Bryn's newest word is "self." I think she has picked it up from me asking "Do you want me to help you, or do you want to do it yourself?" So now she refers to herself as "self," as in "Self do!" She has become little miss independent lately.

That's it for now! We have our first meeting of our new community group from church tonight, so we're really excited to get going on that. Hope all your weeks are going well!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Conversations with My Two-Year-Old

Nearly every day now, Bryn surprises me by coming out with some new word that I didn't know she knew, or stringing words together in a brand new way. This is certainly the age of "language explosion!" I thought you would enjoy some of our most recent conversations:

The setting: getting dressed in the morning, first day of indoor swim lessons
Amy: Bryn, guess what we're going to do today!
Bryn: What?
Amy: We're going to go swimming!
Bryn: Swim!!
Amy: Would you like that?
Bryn (trying to worm her way off the changing table): Want swim!!
Amy: Wait, we have to get ready first.
Bryn (temporarily ceasing her struggles): K. (this is her shorthand for "okay," which she uses in place of "yes")
Amy (trying to make conversation while changing Bryn's clothes): Won't swimming be fun?
Bryn (redoubling her escape efforts): Want fun!
Bryn (running toward the stairs, clad in nothing but a diaper): Want fun! Want fun! Mommy come!

The setting: another morning getting ready
Amy: Bryn, it's time to get dressed now.
Bryn: No! (still her favorite word)
Amy: Come on.
(Bryn scowls, then looks down at the book in her lap, which happens to be Dr. Seuss's Fox in Socks)
Bryn: I want socks!
Amy: Okay, you can have socks, just like the fox.
(Amy reaches into the drawer and pulls out a pair of white socks)
Bryn: No! I want pick.
(bends over drawer, picks out pink socks, and angelically gets dressed without another word of complaint)

The setting: coming downstairs after naptime
Bryn stops halfway down the stairs and looks around at the empty downstairs.
Bryn: Where Daddy?
Amy: He's at work.
Bryn (wrinkling up nose and looking disgusted): Oh, work.
Bryn heaves a deep sigh, which sounds just like Ben does as he heads out in the mornings.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentines

From my two (now healthy) girls to you:

Monday, February 11, 2008

Another Reason to Love the Mannings

Rough week. Last Sunday, Shaylee came down with a cough and cold, undoubtably caught from Ben, who caught it from me, who caught it from Bryn. Since this was Baby's First Illness, I decided to be a paranoid mommy and take her to the doctor on Monday morning. After sitting in the waiting room for over an hour, accompanied by the sound of two crying daughters, we spent approximately two minutes with the doctor, who said that Shay was fine but that we should keep an eye on it in case she got worse. And got worse she did. Her cough got deeper and juicier every day, and by Thursday, she wanted nothing except to sleep. As she slept, her breathing took on an alarming wheezing quality, so as soon as she woke up, I threw the girls in the car and headed back over to the doctor's office. After listening to her lungs, he regretfully informed me that he was afraid Shay's illness might be going into pneumonia, and we should go directly to the St. Vincent pediatric ER to get her a breathing treatment.

This, of course, was not good news. I headed directly for the hospital, and Ben met us there with some dinner. Luckily, Shay was in good spirits, so it was not as bad as it could have been. Bryn was a little angel, playing and looking at books while we took care of the baby. Eventually, Ben had to leave to bring Bryn home and put her to bed. Probably due to the vast amount of goldfish crackers we had given her to keep her in a good mood, Bryn got motion sickness and threw up in the car, so Ben had some mess of his own to deal with while I stayed at the ER with Shay. The doctor gave her an RSV test, which invovled threading a tube up her nose. Then I had to help hold her still while she got two chest x-rays. After this, I had to hold her while she got a breathing treatment, which was basically me trying to keep a mask positioned over her mouth and nose as it emitted medicated steam. After another hour, we got back the test results, and sure enough, she had RSV, so she was admitted to the hospital.

The children's portion of St. Vincent's has recently been renamed the "Peyton Manning Children's Hospital." Now I realize there has been a lot of hype about the Mannings lately, particularly here in Indianapolis, especially with brother Eli's performance in the Super Bowl. But let it be said, I would love the Mannings after this hospital visit even if they weren't famous football players. Okay, so probably the Mannings don't actually have anything to do with the quality of care we received at the hospital, but it was a very good experience, at least as good as it can be when a 2-month-old is hospitalized. The nurses were absolutely fantastic and took such good care of us. It also helped that all the nurses kept raving over what a well-behaved, gorgeous baby Shay is. :)
Shay conked out pretty soon after being checked into her room, which certainly made sense, considering that it was nearly midnight by then. The nice nurses hooked her up to all kinds of monitors and sensors and took her vitals about a million times throughout the course of the night. She had another breathing treatment around 12:30, and then I was able to stretch out on the couch and attempt to get some sleep. Along about 2:00, the monitors went crazy, and I ended up having to hold Shay down while the nurse threaded some tubes up her nose to hook her up to oxygen (the stickers you see on her face in this picture are what held the tubes in place). We did another breathing treatment at around 4:30, and she slept through the whole thing. Around 6:00, the monitors went crazy again, this time due to a low heart rate. I spent the rest of the "night" bent over her bed, paranoid that she was going to flatline or something, until the nurse explained to me that heart rates often go down when people are very deeply asleep. The monitor kept beeping about every 60 seconds, so there was no way that I could fall back asleep, even though Shay was still out cold.

She had another breathing treatment around 8:30, and then the rest of the day involved waiting around to see if she was improving. Cathy brought Bryn down to visit a little after noon, and while they were there, we got an exciting visit from the Pacers! Our nice nurse told us that it was apparently the one day that the Pacers go around to visit the sick kids (and take promotional video footage). Shay was hooked up to so many monitors that she didn't get to go in the hall to meet them, but I was able to take Bryn to the door to see them. She told them "thank you" for her box of "kie-coos" (which would be her cute way of saying cookies; she just switches the syllables) and then waved and said "bye-bye" to the cameraman. So if you see our daughter on TV with a tall guy and a cheerleader, that's why. :)

Cathy then took Bryn home, and I settled in for the afternoon. We were finally released around 4:30. Since then, Shay has just been sleeping a lot and drinking a ridiculous amount of formula, which seems to make her feel better. The doctors warned us that her cough is likely to persist for another 2 weeks, but that she's out of the woods. She is, indeed, still coughing, but it doesn't sound nearly as bad as before. They assure us that she can no longer infect others, but we're taking it easy just in case. We're hoping for a better week this week!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Measurements

I'm not sure how much these numbers will mean to many of you, but I figured at least the relatives will be mildly interested. :) We just took the girls to the doctor--Bryn for the illness mentioned a few posts ago, and Shay for her 2 month checkup. So here are their stats:

Shay is now 10 pounds and 3 ounces, which puts her almost exactly in the 50th percentile. She's a bit longer than average, measuring 23 1/4 inches. This may explain why she's outgrowing her footie pajamas at such a quick rate! Her head measured 15 1/2 inches around, which is blessedly average compared to Bryn's. She got her 2 month immunizations, and while she screamed bloody murder when getting them, she calmed down almost immediately with a bottle and didn't seem to even notice the spots or the band-aids after that.

Bryn is well on her road to recovery from her nasty infection, and although she still has an unpleasantly juicy cough, the doctor assures us that she is no longer contagious and will be as good as new shortly. Now that we're home and she's sleeping in her own bed again, she's actually gotten some rest, and this, combined with her antibiotics, has restored her usual good spirits. She weighed in at 31 pounds and measured 34 3/4 inches, just slightly above average on both counts.

Ben's been down with the flu for the last two days, but he seems to be feeling much better tonight. I've got a cold, but if that's all the worse I get after being surrounded by a sick family, I will count myself lucky. We're looking forward to a weekend of R & R, and hopefully not TOO much snow!